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Training Log (Public) Surovetsky (Push/Pull)

The RE Method

This is where weak points are trained and mass is built. The reps are higher and the load lower. I will focus on muscles to aid my lifts, strengthen weaknesses and protect against injury. These will vary for each day, but overall be pretty similar. For upper body day 1 supplemental lift will be a dumbbell bench of some sort. It will vary from the ME lift in angle. So if max effort day 1 is incline bench, the supplemental Dumbbell lift will be flat or floor. Likewise if ME day is deadlift, supplemental lift will be a squat. I don't want to go to crazy with the number of accessory lifts.

Accessories example after main lift

Bench ME

Supplement 1
Dumbbell press (incline, flate, bridge, floor)

Accessories- Back/Lats, Shoulders/ Arms
Rows (chest supported/cable/Kroc)
Rear Lateral (OH Plate raises/band pull aparts/facepulls)
Curls (Hammer/incline/dumbbell/barbell)
Extension (skullcrushers/rolling/cable presssdowns/French press)

I don't think westsiders superset, but I may to save time. The dumbbell presses and rows, back to back. then the upper back/rear delts and arms supersetted. These aren't do or die sets! Just get a nice pump without grunting and screaming and move on.

For the DE day, most accessories are same except the supplemental lift, which will be an OH press variation.
Lower Body accessories.

The supplemental lift always differs a bit from the main lift. Usually, it will be some type of squat besides week 2, where a squat variation is used as the main lift. If that's the case, an RDL or dimel deadlift will be used as the supplementary lift, for higher reps. Then all the usual. Hips, hammies, etc. I may do wore vertical lat work on this day, as I'd like to train my back as often as possible, but never to failure. Dimel's hit them pretty good, so if I do that some light accessorywork like swings and abs, that may be all I need after that.

On Dynamic day, the speed work is always deadlift and the volume work is always squat. The squats could be high bar, front squats or box squats. 5 x 5 week 1, 4 x 5 week 2, then 5 x 3 week 3. These do not change per cycle and are always different then a variation done earlier in the week. Thus if I do box squats on my DE Deadlift day, they cannot be used on ME Day at any other point. Since ME day is always changing lifts, it is important the supplemental lift changes too. Thus squat variations are many.
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There is certainly a lot to remember and it can get a bit complicated, which is not the goal. So let me try to breakdown the rules.

- Train 4 days a week, 2 DE effort day and two ME days. RE follows both every day.
-Aside from assistance lifts, do not train the same lift more then 1x a week.
-Supplemental lifts must be same but different then main lift, i.e. incline press on flat bench day. If it's a deadlift ME, do a squat supplemental and vise versa
-The ME days are not true maxes, but are indeed close to them.
-Rotate ME exercises weekly but repeat them throughout each 12 week phase. They should not be trained more then once every 4 weeks. The DE lifts, including the supplementary lifts on DE day, remain through each phase. The Supplemental lifts on ME day vary according to the ME lift.
-A phase is a 4 week mini-cycle consisting of 3 different ME lifts each trained once per week, and the 4th week is a deload week. The next phase utilizes the same lifts, but with a new RM goal i.e. 2 RM instead of 3RM. An entire cycle should last 12 weeks which is 3 phases.
-ME lifts are tailored to your weaknesses as are assistance lifts. Raw DE is done without accommodating resistance and at a higher percentage intensity.
-Don't overdo it on accessory lifts. Know your weaknesses, and train for a pump. Save the grinding for ME lifts.
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Putting it all together

With all that in mind, here what a phase might look like abiding to all the rules.

Week 1
Day 1
ME Upper
Incline Press-work up to 3RM. B.O. @ 2-3 x 3-5 @ 85-90%
A1) Dumbbell Press 2 x 10
A2) Dumbbell Row 3 x 12

B1) Face Pull 3 x Max
B2)Incline Curl 3 x 8
B2) French press 3 x 8

Day 2
ME Lower
Sumo Deficit DL - Work up to 3RM
Front Squat - 3 x 6 (with pause)
Dimel Deadlift or RDL with D-bells- 2 x 20
Abs (Leg raises/renegade row)

Day 3
DE Bench
8 x 3 @ 65 % (3 grips, short rest)
OH Press (BTN) 3 x 8
Chinups 5 x (Circa Max)
Dips 5 x (circa max)
Pull aparts 100 reps total

Day 4
DE Lower
5 x 5 Box Squat
10 x 1 Speed Deadlift @ 65 %
Isolation for quads, hammies, glutes, abs

Of course, I'll have to test and iron out accessory work. My legs/ back will probably have enough after the main/supplemental lifts on days 1 and 4 that only light isolation work is necessary. Alas, I haven't done an "ab" exercise in ages. But, here's the skeleton plan so far. Feel free to chime in if you have suggestions/concerns.

After 2 cycles (24 weeks), I plan to peak my competition lifts via Pavel's, 5 x 5 x 5, and we will see from there, how I've done. I believe this will be an exciting and productive new way to train. I m looking forward to it but until then, it's all Bear.
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Day 1 week 1 of "The Bear"

Prying Goblet Squats x 5
K-Bell Halos x5 per side

Bench Press
Warmup- Bar x 5, 95 x 5, 135 x 5, 165 x 3

Top Set- 185 x 5
90 % set - 170 x 5
80 % sets - 155 x 5 x 8 sets

K-bell arm bar
Pullup hangs

Total Tonnage: 7,795 lbs.

Heavy Set

Day was awesome! I felt so incredibly pumped. The top set felt very light. I did it in competition style with a wide grip. All sets have a pause. Incorporated a little kettlebell warmup to loosen and open up my joints. I used a narrow grip (ring finger on rings vs pointer on rings) for my back down sets. They were easy at first, but the short rest periods killed me! I wasn't expecting that but hey, I'll roll with it. I think I'll round down for now and take 20 lbs. off per B.O set instead of 15. Felt really good and pumped. Have to review the rest periods between back off sets. I started at 30 seconds and that got tiring quickly and changed to 1 minute. I'll have to see what adjustments to make to increase volume. Did a bit more of a warmup on bench because I haven't done it in so long, it feels odd. The weight all felt very light though. I think the weight I gained and volume/intensity on DeLorme I used may be the reason for that.
Day 2 Week 1

Sumo Deadlift- 135 x 5, 225 x 5, 275 x 5 (Top set)
90 % 255 x 5
80 % 225 x 5 x 15 sets

Total Tonnage- 19,525 lbs.

Deadlifts felt pretty light. I probably could've pushed the back off sets but I was starting to fatigue. Conventional felt pretty strong and my sumo felt odd. I think there are a few factors contributing to this. Firstly, I have been doing snatch grip deadlifts for the past couple of months and they seem to transfer better to conventional, go figure. I also haven't squatted in a while and my squat stance is quite close to my sumo. Other things such as weight gain, lack of sumo practice can also figure into this, but currently my stronger stance may be conventional. I may just need to regroove my sumo, as my mobility is not as great as it was I'm sure. Also, my chest has been super store the past few days.
Working the arch

I feel this is a neglected part of my bench. Looking at my last bench press video, I realized my arch is lacking. I will dedicate some mobility exercises to improve that such as a few yoga poses and stretches. I worked it a little today and found I could move it a little higher than last time. I'll do some hip flexor stretches, the drill in Pavel's article for the lateral arch and also the yoga cat stretch. Hopefully over time I can work it some to improve my arch as that can help greatly increase my bench press, which is my weakest lift.
15 back off sets? That's a lot!

Haha I know! The Bear calls for up to 20!!!! 15 actually flew by because it's only 1 minute rest and the weight is pretty light. Also, the frequency for DL is only once a week, even with all those back off sets, the tonnage is 4,000 lbs. less than my heaviest DeLorme week.
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Day 3 Week 1

Bench Press
K-bell Halos- 5 per side

Bar x 5, 135 x 5 , 165 x 3

Top set:
190 x 5


170 x 5


80 %
150 x 5 x 9 sets

Total Tonnage: 8,550 lbs.

Feeling strong. My pecs wear out pretty quick for the back off sets though. They get pretty pumped. Definitely feel a nice pump after this workout. My backside was also screaming for the past two days, making work a little hard. My hamstrings, glutes, erectors and rhomboids/mid/lower traps area were all thoroughly hit, but mostly my hamstrings and glutes were sore. This is nice because I've never felt much in my glutes after conventional deadlifts. I believe doing the sumo deads heavy before the conventional helped "turn them on".
Day 1 Week 2

Bench Press

Prying Goblet Squats
K-Bell halos x 5 (per direction)

Bench Press
Bar x 5, 135 x 5, 170 x 3

Top Set
195 x 5


90 %
175 x 5

80 % Backoffs
155x 5 x 10 sets

Total Tonnage: 9,600 lbs.

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Had some small struggles with set-up today because I was experimenting too much with different set-ups. I tried a new method which I shouldn't have because I didn't have much practice and it really almost led to a bad ending to my top set. Luckily, I had my back off sets, which I went to regular method and surpassed my previous B.O. set limit and reinforced my natural method. My dorsiflexion limit is far less on my less foot apparently, and after the initial set up on my heavy set, my left heel was elevated and my right one planted. It didn't work, and I had to re-adjust my feet right in the middle of the set! Not ideal, nut I've learned my lesson, and I'll use my regular set-up for the remainder of the Bear. The weight felt fine, but I was just not properly set up and it affected my press. Anyways lesson learned, and I got plenty of practice un my back off sets.
Day 2 Week 2


Sumo DL
135 x 5, 225 x 5,

Top set- 295 x 5
90 % @ 275 x 5
80% x 245 x 5 x 5 sets

Trained early today. Dropped the 80 % set volume as last time I was destroyed and fatigued for days afterwards and I expect a busy week at work the next few days. The sumo still feels a bit odd. I'm feeling much better on conventional. The weight is okay, but my groove seems so foreign. Needs more practice. We'll have more time to practice after the Bear during a 5x5x5 stint. Still using double overhand and feel I'll be able to maintain that for the duration of the program.

Day 3 Week 2 of The Bear

Bench Press
Top set 200 x 5
90 % 185 x 5 (too lazy to do changes plates to 180)
80 % 160 x 5 x 5 sets

Total Tonnage- 5,925 lbs
Tough week at work, due to 4 A.M. shifts and my night owl habits. Cut the volume a bit but the top set is still feeling very solid. Weighed myself the other day in the evening at 180 lbs. but I haven't really been checking on my weight because I've focused more on my main lifts. I probably weigh around 176 lbs. in the morning due to my lack of sleep, but my workout was strong today.

Day 1 Week 3

Chest opener on Foam
Yoga Pushups
K-Bell Halos

Bench Press
Bar x 5, 135 x5, 175 x3

205 x 5
185 x 5
165 x 5 x 5

Top set still feeling pretty easy. May continue onward until it feels hard. then cycle back again.
Bicep felt a little odd after second warmup set on left side. But felt fine after a little massaging. Speed was good on heavy set, but due to my 6 day work week and odd hours, I limited volume for back off sets to the 5 set minimum. Unfortunately ran out of space on my phone for the heavy set so it didn't film, but my set-up felt slightly off. I believe my feet were too far behind my hips. Finished up my session with a dumbbell hang stretch on incline bench to open chest and stretch biceps. Then a pullup bar hang, kettlebell arm bar and some hip stretches.
How much of your real/estimated current 1RM are your latest 5*5 sets in percentages? You still doing the one minute rest breaks?
How much of your real/estimated current 1RM are your latest 5*5 sets in percentages? You still doing the one minute rest breaks?

I'm guessing the back off sets are about 70 % of my 5 rep max right now but that's just an estimate. We'll see when I reach it but I'm guessing 215-225 is current 5 rep max. Yes, the breaks are 1 minute, including after the main set. The grip comes in as well to increase ROM and difficulty.
I'm guessing the back off sets are about 70 % of my 5 rep max right now but that's just an estimate. We'll see when I reach it but I'm guessing 215-225 is current 5 rep max. Yes, the breaks are 1 minute, including after the main set. The grip comes in as well to increase ROM and difficulty.

So roughly about 60% of 1RM?

I've never really trained with short rest breaks for a longer while. I should give it a shot in some cycle in the near future.
So roughly about 60% of 1RM?

I've never really trained with short rest breaks for a longer while. I should give it a shot in some cycle in the near future.

Right now, I'd say 65 %. The Bear is a good way to do it!!! It allows a pretty quick training session and you're still fresh throughout. No long waiting around periods here! For a full meet lifter, you might do Day 1 Bench, Day 2 Squat day 3 off (or light mobility restoration session, Day 4 Bench, Day 5 Deadlift, Days 6 and 7 (same as day 3) Or you could stick to the 3 day a week and alternate deadlifts and squats every week. The first option allows more practice but you have to be more weary of volume and the 2nd option allows you to go a little more focused on the main lift, since you're only doing it once a week. You could also alternate lower body lifts and bench every other session i.e. Week1 Day 1 Bench, Day 2 Squat Day 3 Bench. Week 2 Day 1 Deadlift, Day 2 Bench, Day 3 Deadlift. Many options available you just have to tailor it to your priorities and recovery abilities.
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